First there was fantasy football, and now there's, fantasy investing. The site Updown.com launched in September last year. It gives anyone who wants to join one million dollars in fantasy cash and allows them to play the stock market online, measuring their success against the S&P 500. Anyone out performing the S&P can earn real cash. The idea puts me in mind of what Jerry Seinfeld said when he heard Kramer was attending a fantasy camp. Remarking that Kramer's whole life is a fantasy camp, he said, "People should plunk down two thousand dollars to live like him for a week: Do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors, and have sex without dating! That's a fantasy camp!"
The stock market is in essence business gaming. Gaming is what we used to call gambling. The term gaming can also refer to computer gaming, which means playing actual computer games. And now you can play the real stock market online with fake money and win real money. Which in essence is computer gaming. Hope that wasn't too convoluted. The genius of the site is that it will make real money by harnessing the power of potentially millions of minds to create unbeatable investment advice. Glenn Reynold's Army of Davids applied to the financial world. The theory is, a million heads are better than any one expert's. They share part of the money they make as incentive for people to participate.
In sports progress has taken us from actually physically playing games, to watching other people playing games from the stands, to watching other people watch people playing games on our TV screens, to group fantasizing about playing games on computers. Makes you wonder if one day in the future will we'll evolve into disembodied brains in glass enclosures as depicted in futuristic science fiction movies.
If the trend continues, and it no doubt will, I can't wait for the day I won't actually have to write this blog, because I can make money creating a fantasy blog. I'll create a massively viral concept like Virtual People Love Us, or Stuff Imaginary People Like, and I'll rise to the top rank in a fantasy Technorati.com. I'll get a virtual book deal and I'll retire rich. Yes, one day all my dreams will come true. In a fantasy world.